Ask your attorney to schedule a private mediation for your case prior to filing court papers. This could likely save you tens of thousands of dollars for unnecessary court appearances. The priority is to settle your case first before filing the first papers that inflame your spouse who will then want to get even by filing inflammatory papers against you. Once the first accusatory papers are filed, Pandora’s box is open and your case will likely be much more expensive than if you settle your case in the beginning.
However, if it is an urgent matter, the papers may need to be filed right away.
By the way, trying to settle your case doesn’t always mean that you will reach an agreement. Settlement is not always possible when someone is being unreasonable. But you won’t know whether the other side is going to be reasonable or not unless you try mediation or the collaborative process first.
The State Bar of California suggests this as well when they describe some divorce options .
Amicable Divorce Services: 626-351-1200.